Duel Match Stats/Reports - Federer vs Agassi, Year End Championship final & round robin, 2003

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Roger Federer beat Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 in the Year End Championship (Tennis Masters Cup) final, 2003 on hard court in Houston, USA

Federer had won his first Slam at Wimbledon earlier in the year, Agassi had won what turned out to be his last at the Australian Open. This was the first of Federer's to date record 6 titles at the event. Agassi had previously won it in 1990 and this would turn out to be the last of his 4 finals

Federer won 87 points, Agassi 57

Serve Stats
Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (33/70) 47%
- 1st serve points won (28/33) 85%
- 2nd serve points won (25/37) 68%
- Aces 11, Service Winners 2 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 5
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (25/70) 36%

Agassi...
- 1st serve percentage (45/74) 61%
- 1st serve points won (26/45) 58%
- 2nd serve points won (14/29) 48%
- Aces 1 (a second serve)
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (13/74) 18%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 38%
- to BH 52%
- to Body 9%

Agassi served...
- to FH 17%
- to BH 77%
- to Body 6%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 57 (9 FH, 48 BH), including 1 runaround FH
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 5 Unforced (1 FH, 4 BH)
- 7 Forced (3 FH, 4 BH)
- Return Rate (57/70) 81%

Agassi made...
- 40 (17 FH, 23 BH), including 2 return-approaches
- 1 Winner (1 FH)
- 12 Errors, comprising...
- 6 Unforced (2 FH, 4 BH)
- 6 Forced (4 FH, 2 BH)
- Return Rate (40/65) 62%

Break Points
Federer 5/7 (6 games)
Agassi 0

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 26 (15 FH, 9 BH, 1 OH, 1 BHOH)
Agassi 11 (7 FH, 2 BH, 2 FHV)

Federer's FHs - 7 cc, 4 inside-out (1 at net), 1 inside-out/dtl, 2 inside-in and 1 net chord dribbler
- BHs - 1 cc pass, 6 dtl, 1 inside-out pass and 1 drop shot

- 1 from a serve-volleying point - a third volley, BHOH

Agassi's FHs - 3 cc, 1 dtl, 1 inside-out, 1 inside-in return and 1 longline at net
- BHs - 2 dtl (1 pass)

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 28
- 15 Unforced (7 FH, 7 BH, 1 FHV)... with 1 FH at net, 1 BH at net & the FHV was a non-net shot played from just inside baseline
- 13 Forced (6 FH, 6 BH, 1 FH1/2V)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.7

Agassi 32
- 21 Unforced (15 FH, 6 BH)... with 1 BH at net
- 11 Forced (4 FH, 6 BH, 1 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.7

(Note 1: all half-volleys refer to such shots played at net. Half -volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke counts)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Federer was...
- 7/10 (70%) at net, including...
- 3/4 (75%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 0/1 off 1st serve and...
- 3/3 (100%) off 2nd serve

Agassi was...
- 7/11 (64%) at net, including...
- 1/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
---
- 0/2 return-approaching
- 2/2 forced back

Match Report
Staggering shotmaking from Federer off both wings and slow movements + sloppy play from Agassi make for a one sided match on a fast hard court

First set is highlight of match, with both playing well. Federer rains down aces (6 of them, plus 2 service winners - 1 off a second serve). Agassi can't get much counter-play against first serves, and struggles with seconds too. He takes them from well inside court. They're a bit too fast for him to be able to do that comfortably... and Federer is lashing winners to anything and everything. Anything short of a shot that actively puts Fed on the defensive is liable to be swatted away so, including Agassi's decent returns

By contrast, Fed's able to return Agassi fairly comfortably. In baseline rallies, Agassi is solid and firm of shot, with some good shotmaking of his own. Federer's hitting winners from regulation positions though isn't limited to just his own service games, and Agassi has to be on the look for it

Just the 1 break. Fed opens the game with a FH inside-out winner, takes net to force an error and wraps up with BH dtl winner from regulation position and a BH inside-out pass winner after forcing an awkward BHOH

12 winners, 5 UEs for Fed. Agassi has 6 winners, 2 UEs. A great set of tennis

Competitively, match goes downhill from there. Fed's game doesn't suffer much other than serve percentage falling, but Agassi goes south

He double faults twice to lose serve to start second set, is broken to love after that (double fault and 2 third ball UEs) and is broken to 30 (4 UEs - last 3 in row early in rallies)

3rd set is a bit more competitive (it would be hard to be less). Fed's low 11/26 first serve in count allows for some rallies on his service games. Agassi serves at his hardest for the match (without unduly bothering Fed) and hits forcefully while still remaining error prone. Fed grabs the break late in set - FH inside-out winner at net and BH dtl winner take him to 30-30 before Agassi double faults and misses a regulation third ball FH to hand over break. Little trouble to serve it out for Fed, who doesn't face a break point in the match

Serve & Return
Great first serving (when he can get it in). Just 47% first serves in but 12/33 of them or 36% are aces/service winners. Coincidentally, that's also his overall unreturned rate
Good second serving too. Agassi looks for chances to attack it, standing in close to take it early and hit hard. It doesn't take because the serves are a bit too strong to be treated such (to lesser extent, Agassi's returning is off). Fed pays a price for it too with high 5 double faults. He still wins 68% second serve points and without doubles, that would be 78%. Wins 3/3 serve-volleying behind it... and it looks good enough to

Sure returning from Fed. Agassi directs a huge 77% of serves to BH and Fed mostly swings balls back, only rarely blocking, let alone chipping them. Its kind of court where just getting balls in play is no mean feat and Fed's not ambitious with the return. Agassi would still have small initiatve at least on third ball

Agassi's serve isn't strong. He cranks it up in third set and draws a number of weak returns but his only ace is a second serve that Fed misanticipated direction of. And he gets the double fault bugs too with 4 of them. Nothing in Fed's returning to justify that

Agassi's inability to gain any counterplay with the return is unusual. He wallops a small number of balls back deep, only Fed half-volleys all but one back from the baseline. He even takes to return-approaching twice to attack (a sign he wasn't able to orthodoxly), losing both points

In a nutshell, very good serving and good returning from Fed, ordinary serving and ineffective returning from Agassi
 
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Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline & Net
This is one of Federer's best showings off the ground. Off both sides. He finishes in the positives on winner/UE count off both sides -
- FH - 15 winners, 7 UEs
- BH - 9 winners, 7 UEs

... which is extremely rare for a baseline match. The bulk of winners he hits aren't easy shots either. From regulation or near regulation positions, he just swats balls away for clean winners, usually without stepping into court. Mostly cc off FH (often behind Agassi) with 7/15 winners in that direction and dtl of the BH with 6/9 that way

Agassi's woes are limited to not being able to attack returns (as opposed to putting weak ones in play) and making unforced errors in play (not hitting weak balls). In other words, he doesn't give Fed easy openings... almost all credit to Fed for top drawer shot making. Agassi's particularly slow movement helps somewhat, but it wouldn't have mattered much had he not been. Federer's shots are precisely placed

Another coincidence is identical UEFI of 46.7, which is moderate. Breakdown of UEs -
- Defensive - Fed 1, Agassi 0
- Neutral - Fed 6, Agassi 9
- Attacking Fed 4, Agassi 10
- Winner Attempts - Fed 4, Agassi 2

This is good reflection of the difference in the two's approach to play. While Fed goes for and makes his winners, Agassi is more conservative offensively. He hits to make Fed move or near lines... you could say to force errors rather than hit winners. The biggest gap is in Agassi having large 10 attacking UEs and he's actually forced more errors (13 to 11) than Fed has. Forcing errors out of Fed isn't easy either because he's zipping around court

Difference in movement is very large. Fed zips about court. Agassi is badly off, probably even more so than his norm for the period. Whether its short range (footwork), long range (footspeed) or even reactions, he is slow. Doesn't look well either, like a man with a fever

With Federer hitting so cleanly, it would have been significantly higher percentage for him to hit less precisely to corners for winners and look to force errors out of Agassi instead. As is, he makes almost all the winner attempts so it ends up just making action more aesthetically pleasing, without costing him in raised UEs going for more aggresisve option

First set, Agassi is very solid with just 2 UEs. With Fed returning regularly and serving aces galore, it looks more one sided than it is, though Fed breaking through does seem inevitable

He's terrible in the second, missing regulation balls and heavy shots going close to lines (and double faulting). Some credit to Fed for pressuring him to go close to lines by dispatching winners from regulation positions, but mostly discredit Agassi here. After a 2.5 hour rain break, he makes 7 UEs in the 3.5 games, most of them third balls or early in rallies

Agassi's at his 'bossiest' from the back in the last set. He remains error prone but hits firmly to strongly and gets slightly better of Fed BH-BH, forcing errors by going extra wide or hitting extra powerful balls

Its interesting to look at the neutral based BH-BH rallies, given each players reputations. For most of match, there's nothing in it between the two. Early on, Agassi hits his regulation BHs, which are stronger than most players, and Fed hits them back as strongly, throwing in the odd slice by choice. They're 50-50 affairs (Fed races ahead via dtl winners... that's about shotmaking, not neutral shots)

Later on, Agassi ups ante on his BH cc's, hitting wider or more powerfully after getting into groove for a few shots. In those situations, Fed is mildly pushed to defend and slices out of necessity. Now, its more Agassi bossing, Fed counter-punching dynamic. Fed finishes with 7 BH UEs (including a defensive one), Agassi 6. Fed coming out well ahead overall on back of dtl point finishers for which Agassi has no answer

Agassi's FH is weakest link on show, with 15 UEs. Fed has that many total

Not much net play. Fed doesn't need it as he's very able to finish points from the back (or let Agassi make errors quickly). Agassi needs something and makes some effort to come forward. He finishes 7/11 at net to Fed's 7/10. The standout point is a Fed serve-volley one where he makes a wide BHV, followed by a running FHV and finishes with a acrobatic BHOH winner

Summing up, top class, dual winged shot making fest from Federer, supported by fleet court coverage and extremely damaging first serving when he gets it in. Agassi's stumped on the return, has his moments with customary heavy groundies (especially the BH) but more often is loose off the ground and slow of foot

Stats for pair's '02 Miami final - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...rt-agassi-vs-federer-miami-final-2002.666953/
Stats for '90 final between Agassi and Stefan Edberg - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...-championship-finals-round-robin-1990.646450/
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Can’t wait for the RR stats and report. That one is a fun match.

The final was an absolute masterclass from Federer (and a bit of a lacking match from Andre; he was still decent enough, but he was much better in the RR). Pretty much everything was on fire that day. One of his best YEC matches and I think the closest one to it is the 2006 final.
 

beltsman

Legend
Great report. Some contend that this match was the beginning of Peak Federer, where he really started to take flight from the baseline.
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
In the round robin, Federer beat Agassi 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(7)

Federer would top the group unbeaten. Agassi would advance with wins over Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Nalbandian. Agassi had won the pair's previous 3 matches. Including this match, Federer would win the last 8

Federer won 121 points, Agassi 120

Federer serve-volleyed about half the time off first serves and occasionally off seconds

Serve Stats
Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (65/124) 52%
- 1st serve points won (49/65) 75%
- 2nd serve points won (24/59) 41%
- Aces 20 (6 second serves), Service Winners 2
- Double Faults 6
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (39/124) 31%

Agassi...
- 1st serve percentage (70/117) 60%
- 1st serve points won (45/70) 64%
- 2nd serve points won (24/47) 51%
- Aces 4 (3 second serves)
- Double Faults 4
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (26/117) 22%

Serve Pattern
Federer served...
- to FH 32%
- to BH 56%
- to Body 7%

Agassi served...
- to FH 35%
- to BH 65%
- to Body 1%

Return Stats
Federer made...
- 87 (30 FH, 57 BH), including 3 runaround FHs 7 2 return-approaches
- 2 Winners (1 FH, 1 BH)
- 22 Errors, comprising...
- 13 Unforced (4 FH, 9 BH)
- 9 Forced (4 FH, 5 BH)
- Return Rate (87/113) 77%

Agassi made...
- 79 (24 FH, 55 BH), including 1 return-approach
- 1 Winner (1 BH)
- 17 Errors, comprising...
- 4 Unforced (2 FH, 2 BH)
- 13 Forced (5 FH, 8 BH)
- Return Rate (79/118) 67%

Break Points
Federer 5/10 (6 games)
Agassi 3/9 (4 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Federer 39 (19 FH, 7 BH, 5 FHV, 6 BHV, 2 OH)
Agassi 16 (5 FH, 8 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV)

Federer had 10 from serve-volley points
- 8 first 'volleys' (3 FHV, 4 BHV, 1 FH at net)... the FH at net was a drop shot
- 2 second volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV)

- 1 other FHV was a swinging, non-net shot
- 1 other BHV was a drive-pass from the baseline

- FHs - 7 cc (2 passes), 5 dtl (1 return, 1 pass), 1 inside-out and 5 inside-in (1 at net)
- BHs - 1 cc and 6 dtl (1 return, 1 pass)

Agassi's FHs - 2 cc (1 pass) and 2 dtl (1 pass)
- BHs - 2 cc (1 return), 1 cc/longline pass and 5 dtl (4 passes)

- 1 from a return-approach point, a FHV

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Federer 72
- 49 Unforced (23 FH, 21 BH, 5 BHV)
- 23 Forced (15 FH, 4 BH, 2 FHV, 2 BHV)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 48.4

Agassi 39
- 28 Unforced (13 FH, 13 BH, 2 OH)... with 1 FH at net & 1 OH on the bounce from the baseline. The other OH can reasonably be called a FHV
- 11 Forced (4 FH, 7 BH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.8

(Note 1: all half-volleys refer to such shots played at net. Half -volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke counts)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Federer was...
- 29/45 (64%) at net, including...
- 23/33 (70%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 17/25 (68%) off 1st serve and...
- 6/8 (75%) off 2nd serve
---
- 0/2 return-approaching

Agassi was...
- 11/19 (58%) at net, including...
- 0/1 serve-volleying, a 1st serve
---
- 1/1 return-approaching
- 0/1 forced back

Match Report
Very good match that comes down to the wire. Agassi has 2 match points in the final set tiebreak before Federer gets his first - and 1 is all the winner needs

Of action, the match is patchy from both players, especially Federer, but on the whole, good and always highly competitive - even the second set which Federer takes 6-3 with 2 breaks

Strangest stat coming out is the players combining for 9 second serve aces (Federer 6, Agassi 3). I can't think of a higher count, particularly over 3 sets

Using action from the final as a base frame of reference for comparison -
- Agassi plays much better, excelling with strong returning and moving-opponent-around baseline play
- Fed plays worse (its very unlikely match would be competitive if he hadn't), which is virtually a given, given his showing in the final, but still good. He engages in the same type of shot-making but is a lot less successful, serve-volleys regularly and is bossed about neutrally from the baseline

Of movement, Fed's still zipping about. And has to to deal with Agassi's play. Agassi's still slow, though better than in the final. Think his movements were just sub-par in this period - and the final was a particularly bad day on top of it. At least he doesn't look ill, but he's sweating profusely. Bright idea of wearing all black outfit probably doesn't help

Serve, Return & Serve-Volleying
Agassi's return is the main play shaping feature. Even the freaky abundance of second serve aces is likely shaped by it

Not as good first serving from Fed as in the final, but that's a minor fluctuation from norm with respect to hitting spots. General quality of serve is still good and he still gets his fill of 14 aces and 2 service winners, along with good number of other strongly forced errors. But, anything he can reach, Agassi belts

Note Agassi with just 17 total return errors, while being aced/service winner'd 22 times. He takes returns early as he likes to. The downside are the aces that go by. The upside is that anything he makes, he makes strongly. Doesn't matter if its an ace or just a return error... return rate of 67% is good against such calibre serving (and plenty of serve-volleying around it)

Note Fed winning just 41% second serve points (Agassi has 51%). That's not influenced by double faults because he has 6 second serve aces to cancel out his 6 double faults. And he's 6/8 serve-volleying off second serves. In other words, sans aces, doubles and serve-volleys (i.e. second serve points starting with Fed on baseline, including missed Agassi returns). Fed wins just 12/39 at a very low 31%

Agassi is the better baseliner in the match, but not to that extent... that low a figure is largely down to the strength of the return itself giving Agassi's minor initiative to start rally

With Agassi belting second serves from inside the court - he's about 1/3 up to service line not infrequently - Fed turns to going for bigger and wider second serves. To the tune of hitting 6 such aces (1 was about 10 inches out, but went uncalled). The ones Agassi belts are strong serves too, just not kissing lines like the aces... they'd be not easy to put in play returning normally, let alone belting from advanced position off a short swing

In final, Agassi can't do much with the return at all. That seems like a normal showing against such serving (for a normal player, anyway), its the returning here that's exceptional.

Agassi serve vs Federer return is about the same final - normal serving from Agassi, comfy returning from Fed... maybe Fed's returning down a tad

There's a catch which speaks to Agassi erring strategically. He has 3 second serve aces (and just 1 first serve). They're bona fide ones too (as opposed to caused by Fed moving in wrong direction like the one in the final), line kissers

But... his serve has forced 9 errors, and Fed makes 13 UEs (and good lot of the FEs are on makeable side too). Like the final, he doesn't go for much with the serve - and doesn't get much out of it. Its an average serve

If you can serve 3 second serve aces, while serving average first serves... you're not going for enough with the first serve. Play is obviously not so much in Agassi's favour (if at all) that he doesn't need any free points. Why doesn't he go for them then? Don't think Agassi utilizes his potential on the serve - in these matches, or over his career as a whole
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
Play - Baseline
From baseline, Federer plays similar style to final, based around shot making. Nowhere near as successfully

Off FH - 19 winners, 23 UEs
Off BH - 7 winners, 21 UEs

FHs still devastating, though it breaks down now and then (including crucially in 1st set tiebreak). BHs not bad (Agassi's just happens to be neutrally heavier). Attempts to escape BH cc rallies with dtl winner attempts usually fail

Agassi primarily plays a move-Federer-around game, with breaking-down-a-side secondary

BH-BH, Agassi has significant advantage. His shots are stronger and he's able to create good wide angles better (he rarely does though). Fed's hits back best he can, and slices pseudo defensively to cope. In absence of hitting dtl winners - Fed has 4 such shots, but misses many more than that - Fed doesn't have an answer to Agassi's BH cc'ing. Agassi has 13 BH UEs to Fed's 21

FH-FH, the matter is less clear. Fed probably hits more strongly, and is apt to playing attacking shots rather than stay in neutral. Sizable gap in UEs - Agassi 13, Fed 23... a lot of Fed's are attackign shots and winner attempts, not necessarily coming out of FH-FH rallies

To be clear, there aren't a whole lot of static cc rallies to begin with... most come out of Agassi moving Fed around. There are more BH-BH ones than FH-FH, partially because from Agassi's point of view its much less dangerous and partially because Fed apt to turn the static rally on its head with attacking shots (win or lose)

A word on Fed's 44 UEs and 19 FEs off the ground. Agassi's manuvering shots skirt the line between being forceful and unforceful... Fed has to move to reach balls but is more often than not there in good time, with Agassi not hitting overly hard. When Fed ends up missing... the UEs tend to be hard for being UEs and the FEs tend to easy for being FEs

Shot consistency is a bigger factor in Fed's errors than movement. And the opposite for Agassi. Like the final, Agassi's movements are not good. Fed's able to move him around in response and Agassi misses while slightly on the move to balls a lot closer to him than balls Fed puts in play regularly. At least his reactions are fine. In final, he was reacting late to Fed's deliberate short balls. Here, he sees them early and reaches them in good time. He doesn't chase down every ball, letting a few he could have got to go through

Its a very good style of play from Agassi - pressuring to moderately attacking, while low risk to go along with a heavy neutral ball. Its better suited to a slower court (and against a less fleet opponent). And he is a bit more error prone than necessary playing such a style, missing a number of regulation shots

Trailing from the baseline, Federer turns to...

Play - Serve-Volley & Net
Federer ends up serve-volleying 51% off first serve and 17% off second. Its something he turns to after starting as he did in the final (going for winners from the back) and finding the results patchy

Does very well too, winning 75% serve-volley points. Off second serves, he wins 6/8 at 75% (as opposed to lowly 31% not serve-volleying)

Good, sharp volleying from Fed. He's up to net in a flash. Agassi doesn't return particularly well against it, but even his regulation returns are hefty. Fed manages to control his volleys well

Something missing from Agassi's game is willingness to come forward. He has better of baseline play but isn't willing to kill points outright from there. Just 4 baseline-to-baseline winners from him - and 1 of those was almost a net shot, played just behind service line. Why not come forward to finish points instead? He's only at net 17 times from rallying, some of which is due to Fed drawing him there with short slices

As is, Agassi is leaving himself somewhat in Fed's hands, trusting to Fed making the error while being moved around or missing attacking shots. He may not feel upto hitting winners from the back, but he's in charge of baseline enough to have come forward to finish. He doesn't much

Match Progression
Good, hard fought first set. Agassi smacks returns early and moves Fed around. Fed looks for point ending shots from the back (including on the move), missing more often than not and throwing in good amount of serve-volleying

Players trade early breaks. Agassi loses his first service game in a poor, 12 point game where he misses a large number of routine groundstrokes
Breaks back to love with Fed making 3 UEs and being forced into error by a deep return

Players trade late breaks. Agassi breaks with strong groundies to leave himself serving for set.
Fed breaks back to love with Agassi making 2 UEs, serving a double fault and Fed hitting a return winner

Fed's FH goes off in the tiebreak (its hit and miss all match) and he makes 5 successive errors of that side (3 unforced, 2 forced) as Agassi opens a 6-0 lead. Agassi finishes with an unreturned serve

Despite the 6-3 scoreline, second set is tough. 3/4 Federer service games go to deuce and the other doesn't due to a bad call (at 15-30, a Fed second serve that was about 10 inches out is called an ace)

Later, Agassi hits a FH cc pass on the line as he has break point but the ball is erroneously called out

Couple of terrific points. In opening game, Fed ends a long rally with a BH cc winner from center of baseline. Later on, he hits a remarkable, very low drive BHV from just inside the baseline for a passing winner as he gains his first break. Set ends with another break, but this one is a poor game from Agassi

3rd set is a topsy turvy affair. Fed more or less gives up trying to hang in from the baseline and relies very largely on serve-volleying to hold games while Agassi continues to punish him from the back on Agassi's service games. Quality of play is quite even and high - by contrast, second set was quite patchy

Again run of play, Agassi throws in a poor game to get broken to 15 and leave Federer serving for the match at 5-3
He can't close it out. Couple of good returns wins points for Agassi and Fed double faults on break point

Tiebreak is a tense affair. Players trade double faults to stay on serve before Agassi steps up to finish a couple of points aggresively to give himself first match point, on which he faces a second serve

Fed's previous second serve had been an ace, but he sends down a regulation ball now... which Agassi nets

Agassi's next match point is on his own serve. He sends down a regulation first serve which Fed whacks back before a regulation rally starts to develop. It doesn't get far. Fed lashes a back away FH inside-in winner from routine position.

Agassi misses third ball BH to a deep-ish return point after to give Fed his first match point. On it, Agassi's comes to net but isn't able to fully putaway an OH that Fed does well to run down and slap FH cc for the winning shot

Summing up, very good match with strong serving from Fed, excellent returning from Agassi, commanding move-opponent-around baseline play from Agassi, streaky shot making coupled with effective serve-volleying from Fed. Nothing in the result, could have gone either way

Stats for '03 Australian Open final between Agassi and Rainer Schuettler - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...schuettler-australian-open-final-2003.645622/
Stats for '03 Wimbledon final between Federer and Mark Philippoussis - https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...vs-philippoussis-wimbledon-final-2003.665136/
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
2003 WTF confirmed the arrival of Federer following a brief hiatus after his maiden Wimbledon title. After that, his 2nd Slam soon followed at the AO and then the #1 ranking shortly afterwards. He had finally emerged from his chysalis into the Federer we know.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
The difference in decisiveness in Fed's movement and hitting in this match vs the rest of the week really stands out. Which isn't to say that Agassi didn't play better in this match than the rest of Fed's opponents (including AA again) because he did but I do see this match being quite a bit more straightforward if Fed was in that kind of autopilot power baseline mode where he's hitting and moving with no doubts and is trying to be on everything early that we saw from him the rest of the week and in a lot in his best HC matches. That's really what clicked for Fed because he had all the physical tools in 2003 for it to be a prime year but was hampered by a lack of belief and commitment to play his best shots consistently and on big points besides Wimbledon but that's because of Federer's natural movement on grass. Never looked back after this match.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
The difference in decisiveness in Fed's movement and hitting in this match vs the rest of the week really stands out. Which isn't to say that Agassi didn't play better in this match than the rest of Fed's opponents (including AA again) because he did but I do see this match being quite a bit more straightforward if Fed was in that kind of autopilot power baseline mode where he's hitting and moving with no doubts and is trying to be on everything early that we saw from him the rest of the week and in a lot in his best HC matches. That's really what clicked for Fed because he had all the physical tools in 2003 for it to be a prime year but was hampered by a lack of belief and commitment to play his best shots consistently and on big points besides Wimbledon but that's because of Federer's natural movement on grass. Never looked back after this match.
Yup. Prime Fed started right there in that match. Even though he won Wimbledon in similarly stunning form, his consistency was still not there as you noticed. But after this match, he was able to string together many other results like this.

Though people will furiously debate when exactly Fed exited his prime, it’s quite clear that he entered it at the 2003 Masters Cup.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Yup. Prime Fed started right there in that match. Even though he won Wimbledon in similarly stunning form, his consistency was still not there as you noticed. But after this match, he was able to string together many other results like this.

Though people will furiously debate when exactly Fed exited his prime, it’s quite clear that he entered it at the 2003 Masters Cup.
I think at Wimbledon there was less baseline play so Fed had to do less thinking and could play more naturally. Serve, approach, return to feet covered most of the play. On HC, he was overwhelmed by the challenge of shot selection and to whether to move with decisiveness to hit a purposeful shot on every ball especially vs guys who didn't give him a lot of time like Nalbandian (or Agassi). On top of that, he was absolutely horrendous in TBs in 03 apart from Wimby until this final one which he won in epic fashion. Really very poetic how it all went down.
 
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